Sailing the Pacific

I've put off reading Yann Martel's Life of Pi for years it seems.  I don't know why.  It's been recommended to me several times and touted as a "must read" by many of my friends, mainly Audrey. Maybe that's why I never got around to reading it:  fear of it not stacking up to the hype.  So, while I was in Portland at one of my favorite bookstores, Wallace Books, I saw a used copy for four bucks and finally picked it up.  All I can say is "Thank You" Martel for writing a book that was seriously awesome and thank you Audrey for continually extolling its awesomeness!
Pi follows the story of Pi Patel, a sixteen year old boy who has been shipwrecked while on his way from India to Canada on a Japanese ship.  Before setting sail, Pi and his family have liquidated the zoo that his father manages.  All of the animals have found homes around the world in different zoos and sanctuaries.  However, there are a few animals that embark on the same journey the Patel's do; namely a Bengal tiger, a hyena, a zebra, and an orangutan.  After the shipwreck, the action is contained to a small life raft containing all of the surviving members of the ship:  Pi, the tiger, the hyena, the zebra, and the orangutan.  An interesting and deadly combination.  As the days go by, there are deaths and triumphs, storms and moments of calm.  Once Pi makes it across the vast Pacific Ocean, he is met by officials from the shipping fleet who conduct an interview attempting to figure out what happened to the ship and how Pi was able to survive nearly 300 days at sea.  He relates his story to their disbelief.

When I first started Life of Pi, I was slightly disappointed.  It was a bit slow, though engaging.  Once the shipwreck happened, though, the action of the story sped up to an almost breakneck speed.  By the time I got to the last hundred pages or so, I couldn't put the book down.  The ending was shockingly brilliant and left me with a look of disbelief.  Whoa!  So incredibly good.  It's a highly recommended book in my mind and I can't wait to see how they adapt this into a film...

Comments

  1. I read Audrey's copy of Life of Pi several years ago and completely agree with you. It becomes such a page turner with a great twist at the end. One of those I wish I could read again, but the surprise will never be the same...

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